Windows 7 or XP for my minimal usage

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by jmk229, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. jmk229 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    #1
    Hi,

    I am looking to run Windows so I can use an accounting program (Simply Accounting by Sage). That is all I will be using it for.

    I plan on installing it on my MBP:
    2.66 GHz
    4GB RAM
    320 HD

    Also I would like to be able to still be in my Mac environment (for email, iCal etc..) so I was going to run the latest version VMWare.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #2
    What year is your MBP? It makes a difference. I'd say Windows 7 if you have a new one because the Mac drivers work better with it. If you have a 2006 like me, Windows 7 won't work on it once you put the Mac drivers on - It shuts down at the desktop.
     
  3. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #3
    I don't think the drivers are going to be much of an issue in VMWare. ;)

    If you already have a license of XP that you can transfer over to the Mac, go ahead and use that. Otherwise, stick with a 32 bit version of W7 and use that. In either case, dedicate 2GB to the VM if possible and you will get decent performance.

    If you want to check performance before committing, just download an offical ISO of W7, install without entering a product key and try it all out for up to 30 days.

    B
     
  4. smirk macrumors 6502a

    smirk

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    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #4
    I have an admittedly older machine than you (a 1.83 GHz Core Duo iMac), but Windows 7 crawls under VMWare on my computer. XP is slow but usable.
     
  5. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #5
    I've got one of those too, and have also decided to keep it on XP. The main limitation is the 2GB of RAM.

    B
     
  6. jmk229 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 5, 2010
    #6
    Where do I get one of these ISO versions to try for 30 days?

     
  7. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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  8. jmk229 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 5, 2010
    #8
    Ok so how do I go about trying this out then? What do I download it to? I am totally new at all this especially partioning etc....
     
  9. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #9
    No need to partition, you are planning on using VMWare Fusion, right?

    Read this guide from the kind folks at VMWare. http://blogs.vmware.com/teamfusion/...mac-with-vmware-fusion-a-practical-guide.html

    Just leave the product key blank on install for 30 days of testing.

    B
     
  10. jmk229 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 5, 2010
    #10
    Could I use an OEM version of the software? Or should I be buying the full version if I use Fusion?
     
  11. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    Location:
    New England
    #11
    OEM is not licensed for use by end users. Part of the license requirement is that you resell the computer with Windows 7 installed to an unrelated third party. The only copies of Windows licensed to end users are full retail and retail upgrade, and retail upgrade requires a previous license to upgrade from that can be transferred to your Mac. (i.e. not OEM).

    If license compliance doesn't bother you, it still works fine, but then again so does a retail upgrade license which you can often get cheaper even than OEM. The retail upgrade won't bug you as much if you decide to move it to boot camp or even another machine, while OEM will likely force you to call Microsoft to activate.

    Neither are being used according to the strict letter of the license, but will still work. Microsoft is within their rights (as per the license) to deny you an activation should they choose to.

    B
     
  12. jmk229 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 5, 2010
    #12
    What version should I be using for the bare basics with VM?
     
  13. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #13
    I would suggest Home Premium 32 bit.

    B
     
  14. jmk229 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 5, 2010
    #14
    Do I need to run an antivirus for windows now?
    I am running Sopho's as it is.

    When VM isn't running will the speed of my computer pick up at all?

    I need to download a Windows program, do I od this through explorer in windows?
     
  15. smirk, Jan 3, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011

    smirk macrumors 6502a

    smirk

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #15
    If you will have any data inside the Windows VM that you value and if you will ever browse the web in Windows then my vote is to install antivirus inside of the VMWare virtual machine. If you do get a Windows virus then the scope of its reach should remain inside of the VMWare virtual disk unless you share folders on your Mac with the VMWare instance.

    I recommend Microsoft Security Essentials, as it is free and relatively lightweight, although there are of course many good and free antiviruses out there.

    http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/

    To download a Windows program, either download it via a web browser inside Windows or else download it on your Mac and then copy the downloaded file over to the VMWare virtual machine. I'm not up on how security is these days with Internet Explorer, but you may want to consider installing another browser like Firefox, as it historically has provided more defense against contracting viruses while web browsing.

    I'm not sure I understand the question, but if your Mac OS side is running slowly while VMWare is running then yes, it should be more responsive when VMWare is not running, as it no longer has to share CPU and memory with another OS.
     
  16. jmk229 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 5, 2010
    #16
    how do I make the VM window look better? the resolution is terrible.
     
  17. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #17
    Is VMWare Tools installed yet? If not, do that first then you can control the resolution dynamically.

    B
     
  18. jmk229 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 5, 2010
    #18
    Ok I will install VM tools....

    One more thing... how do I enable my number pad on my keyboard to work in the windows environment?
     
  19. smirk macrumors 6502a

    smirk

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    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #19
    It should just work, unless there's a Num Lock key you need to set. This isn't a VMWare forum, though... if you have questions on using VMWare you will get better responses there.
     
  20. jmk229 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 5, 2010
    #20
    Figured it out needed to press clear on the numberpad.

    Thanks for everyone's help looks like I have it all up and running now!
     
  21. fanbrain macrumors 6502

    fanbrain

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    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    So. UT
    #21
    If you are using a wired Apple keyboard, push the "clear" button directly beneath the F16 button. It's in the same place as the "num lock" on a Windows keyboard and after pushing will allow you to use your number pad.
     
  22. jmk229 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 5, 2010
    #22
    I have a licence for XP that I don't use on my old laptop. Where can I get the actual operating system software?
     
  23. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    Location:
    New England
    #23
    You have two issues.

    1) The license from your laptop is most likely not-transferable per the license (assuming it came with the laptop).

    2) Even if you have media for it (which it sounds like you don't) it may be heavily customized or worse a "system restore" disc.

    This is why I and others suggested you look at W7, which you can get easily today and if you got a retail license instead of OEM you can transfer that at will.

    That said, if the laptop still works, you might just be able to use VMWare converter on the laptop to create a new VM from the laptop. You would be outside the license, but it should work.

    B
     
  24. jmk229 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    #24
    Hey Guys!

    So I upgraded my RAM to 8GB. I am running 32bit Home Premium as a virtual machine in Fusion. I know am running 5 different accounting/tax software programs in my windows environment. What I am wondering is, should I be using 64 bit instead? Is there anyway to just upgrade to 64 bit without deleting all that I have installed?

    I noticed its only using 3GB of the 4 I dedicated to it.
     
  25. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    Location:
    New England
    #25
    If you need more than 3GB, then yes, you need to switch to 64 bit.

    If you don't have 64 bit media, just download the official ISO and install that with the same product key you used for 32bit.

    B
     

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